Scott Walker says he would rip up the Iran nuclear deal on Day 1 of his presidency, even if it means the U.S. would have to go it alone – without key allies.
“I think it’s that bad of a deal, it’s a bad deal for us, it’s a bad deal for Israel, it’s a bad deal for the region,” Walker told CNN during an interview aboard a campaign Winnebago driving through Iowa. “It’s not just the starting gun, it will accelerate the nuclear arms race, and it is empowering Iran to do what they’re going to do.”
“Lifting the sanctions (and) giving them credibility in the world not only emboldens the problems we have in terms of their illicit nuclear infrastructure, but this is the leading state sponsor of terrorism this is a direct threat to Israel,” Walker said.
Jeb Bush tweaked Walker last week, not so subtly suggesting the Wisconsin governor is naïve, by saying he would not throw out the Iran deal on his first day in office because the responsible thing is to first form a cabinet, and talk to U.S. allies.
Walker insisted he has already “talked to plenty of folks.”
“When I went to Israel I not only met with Benjamin Netanyahu, I met with (Isaac) Herzog and the other leaders. While they have many differences within that country they are very much aligned on their concern about the Iran deal I’ve talked to others around the country and around the world,” Walker said.
“This is something where, again, I haven’t been briefed for the sake of getting ready for debate, I’ve been briefed from experts in military and foreign affairs for the last six or seven months to be prepared to be President of the United Sates,” said Walker.
When pressed on the fact that sanctions against Iran were successful because the regime was squeezed not just by the U.S, but by other countries around the world who would no longer go along with sanctions, Walker insisted he would increase U.S. sanctions anyway.
“The U.S. putting sanctions would have an impact on others, so they’d have to consider what impact it would have on relations that they do with Iran and the impact it would have on their own economy,” the Wisconsin governor said. “So I do think over time it’s a little like getting a genie back into a bottle. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s all the more reason why I’ve tried to argue and I would hope the Democrats in the Congress would stand up as many already have and say we need to kill this deal before it even goes forward because it’s a bad deal for America, it’s a bad deal for Israel, it’s a bad deal for the world.”
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misstated the first name of Israeli Labor Party politician Isaac Herzog.